Sewer line blockages are common, and they occur due to a buildup of soap scum, hair, paper, and food debris. As buildup grows, your toilet can slow down, and eventually, the drain can clog completely. Call a plumber before your toilet starts backing up or your plumbing is damaged.
There are two approaches to cleaning out a clogged sewer line: hydro jetting and snaking. Here's a closer look at how these sewer cleaning methods work.
Traditional Snaking Cuts Through Clogs
Using a drain snake or auger snake is often effective in eliminating a sewer clog. A professional auger consists of a long cable with blades on the end that cut up the clog. The plumber may drop the drain snake down the cleanout opening in your yard and then feed the cable until it meets the clog. An auger can be powered by electricity or manually. Powering the drain snake makes the blades spin, so they can cut through the clog.
One advantage of using a drain snake to clear your drain is that this method of drain clearing is often less expensive compared to hydro jetting. Traditional snaking can usually get rid of many clogs, including tree roots.
A disadvantage of using a drain snake is that it can only chop up the clog. It's not able to clean the drain completely, so a clog may form again at a quicker rate than it would if the drain was completely washed clean with a hydrojet.
Hydro Jetting Rips Apart Clogs and Washes the Drain
Hydro jetting is a newer method of sewer cleaning that is often preferred since it not only removes clogs, but the water jet also scrubs the sides of the drain to clean it. The jet of water is so strong that it can cut through tree roots and other types of tough clogs. Since it only uses water, it's an environmentally friendly option when compared to removing tree roots and drain clogs with harsh chemical drain cleaners.
A disadvantage of hydro jetting is that it is generally more expensive. Plus, it's often necessary to perform a video inspection of the sewer line first to make sure the drain isn't damaged or too weak to withstand the jet of water. The video inspection adds to the cost of the hydro jetting service as well.
In addition, a professional hydrojet is dangerous to use due to the powerful stream of water it creates, so hydro jetting isn't a DIY project. You'll need to hire a professional plumber to operate the equipment safely.
The Drain Clearing Choice Depends on a Few Factors
You can't put off clearing a drain clog, so you must choose the right method to use with the help of your plumber. Your plumber may have a preferred method, or one type of drain clearing may be better suited for the type of clog you have. Your plumber will explain the pros, cons, and costs of each method to help you decide on the right method to choose.
If the clog is minor, traditional snaking might be a better choice. If you're having a problem with repeat clogging or tree roots, then hydro jetting might be best so that all traces of the clog are removed.
If your sewer line is weak and there is a risk of damage with a hydro jet, the plumber might use a drain auger instead. If the tree roots are plentiful and thick, the plumber might recommend hydro jetting so that all the debris is removed.
If you're experiencing slow drains or a complete sewer clog, call PlumbRite. We can find the source of the clog and get your sewer or any other drain in your home flowing freely again.